Is Your Front Door Protected from the Elements: The Importance of Overhangs

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Is your door suffering from water damage? You might want to take a look above that door to see where the problem very well might be starting. The overhang above your door can play a significant role in reducing maintenance costs and keep your door looking its best for a longer time.

How Overhangs Protect Doors

Some of the signs of water damage include changes in the color of paint, damage to the bottom of the door, including outright rot and staining and warping. These types of damage, of course, can completely ruin a great door if they’re not fixed. The overhang above your door might be too short if you’re seeing these types of problems.

There are several different ways too short an overhang can damage the finish on the door, and the wood of which it is made. If there’s hardly any overhang at all, rain can run right off of the roof and onto the door. If there’s enough wind, it might actually blow the rain back into the door before it even hits the ground, exacerbating the damage.

If there is a bit of overhang, it still might not be enough to sufficiently direct the water away from the front of the door. In such cases, the overhang might allow the water to run back, pool at the base of the door and start rotting out the bottom of the door entirely. If you see these types of problems and you have an overhang, it might need to be extended to provide better protection.

How Much Should I Have?

How much overhang you need depends upon the climate where you live. There’s a handy table at that gives the recommended overhang lengths based on climate index. There’s a map right at the site where you can see where your area fits in.

If you’re somewhere that has a lot of rain, installing gutters can also help to prevent damage to the door, and the house in general, by shunting rain off of the roof and onto the ground somewhere that it won’t cause damage.

If you feel like your door finish is always in need of repair or, worse, you see that your door is actually getting damaged from the elements, talk to a professional about the overhang above your door. The root of the problem might be at the top of your door!